The craft of ar­ti­sans work­ing with metal has given way to com­puter gen­er­ated art­works that sur­round us each day — and we barely re­al­ize it

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WEEKEND LIFE - By XING YI xingyi@chi­

When Steve Jobs made his com­mence­ment speech to stu­dents at Stan­ford Univer­sity in Cal­i­for­nia in 2005 he told of how the cal­lig­ra­phy class he at­tended at Reed Col­lege in Port­land, Ore­gon, years ear­lier had in­flu­enced him.

“I learned about serif and sans serif type­faces, about vary­ing the amount of space between dif­fer­ent let­ter com­bi­na­tions, about what makes great ty­pog­ra­phy great,” he says.

“It was beau­ti­ful, his­tor­i­cal, ar­tis­ti­cally sub­tle in a way that sci­ence can’t cap­ture, and I found it fas­ci­nat­ing.”

The aes­thet­ics of cal­lig­ra­phy he learned later turned into a wide choice of fonts in the Macin­tosh com­puter he co-in­vented with Steve Woz­niak in the early 1980s, giv­ing lay peo­ple the tools to ex­press them­selves ar­tis­ti­cally through their writ­ing in the dig­i­tal world.

How­ever, on the other side of the Pa­cific, Chi­nese peo­ple were then still strug­gling with dig­i­tally in­putting char­ac­ters, and of course de­sign­ing var­i­ous type­faces to use on com­puter came much later.

If you visit Dis­ney­land in Shang­hai, which

Type­faces are an in­dis­pens­able part of web de­sign, and I re­al­ized there was a dearth of type­faces for Chi­nese char­ac­ters on com­puter.” Ding Yi, the founder of Make­font


Guo Yuhai, chief de­signer of a type­face based on Chi­nese writer Lu Xun’s hand­writ­ing at Founder­type.

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